World Bank: Land Conflicts Hurting Africa’s Growth


ailment salve geneva;”>buy "sans-serif"; mso-bidi-font-family: "Times New Roman"; mso-bidi-theme-font: minor-bidi;”>Africa which is a home to half of the world’s usable uncultivated land has the highest poverty rate.

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However, World Bank indicates that the farmers’ inability to prove ownership, legal disputes and land grabs has held back cultivation.

“Land governance needs to be improved if Africa is to fully exploit its resources and create jobs,” states the report.

In the report, ‘Securing Africa’s Land for Shared Prosperity,’ the World Bank’s vice-president for the continent, Makhtar Diop, said: “Despite abundant land and mineral wealth, Africa remains poor.”

“Improving land governance is vital for achieving rapid economic growth and translating it into significantly less poverty and more opportunity for Africans, including women who make up 70 percent of Africa’s farmers, yet are locked out of land ownership due to customary laws.

Mr Diop notes that the status quo is unacceptable and must change so that all Africans can benefit from their land.

This report recommends that governments secure tenure rights for communities and individuals, possibly using new and relatively cheap satellite technology to conduct land surveys.

It should be noted that legal wrangles over land ownership are common in Africa.

This is because many plots in urban areas have been divided, then sub-divided through generations of families, creating confusion over who owns what.

World Bank urges Africans to rationalize land ownership so that they can benefit more from surging commodity prices and strong levels of foreign investment.

“Improved land management could also prevent land grabs,” states the report.


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